Ladies of decades past have donned the infamous corset. A corset, more often than not, is an article of clothing that is meant to cinch and emphasize the waistline through boning and tightlacing. This fad has, for the most part, fallen out of fashion, much like the women who used to wear them. It serves as a perfect example of how beauty is meant to be a painful process, as the medical history of corsets is shrouded in negativity.
Fainting was a popular occurrence in the age of tightlacing. Ladies would often pass out when wearing their corset, as it restricted their airflow. The tight squeeze of the corset wouldn't allow the lungs of the wearer to fully expand, causing a lack of oxygen in their bloodstream and ultimately, their brain. Additionally, the compression of the lower lobes of the lungs would aggravate conditions such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, which would worsen the health of the wearer.
Muscle atrophy was also a prevalent problem, specifically with the pectoral and back muscles. This is due to the fact that the wearer is not engaging the muscles as they normally would when moving because of the corset's boning. This resulted in a higher dependency on corsets to support these weakened muscles, in turn, making them continuously waste away.
Corsets also cause displacement of the internal organs. The pressure caused by tightlacing can push your abdominal organs resulting in digestive issues and circulation issues within the organs themselves. Long-term corset wearers reshape their waistline into the desirable hourglass figure, but do so at the price of a misshapen ribcage and squashed organs, which is obviously not worth the price you're paying.
There are several other conditions that corsetting has been claimed to cause, but no medical evidence can be sited to back these claims up. It has been said that tightlacing can cause infertility, uterine prolapse, shrinking of the pelvis, and even death. Though tightlacing cannot be directly tied to symptoms such as these, they are still not recommended or safe for long-term usage. Achieving a wasp waist at the price of digestive and respiratory issues is dangerous and unnecessary, and reshapes your body in a way that is not healthy. Modern corsets and waist trainers are made of the more forgiving material, and while not as harmful, are still not recommended by medical professionals as a long-term solution to weight and body shape issues.